The grass is green under the snow and the Lilac’s still have their leaves. The sound of snow falling on them was new to me. The fall birds add to it all.
Sometimes I put up a video or photo on Instragam and facebook, then I forget to post it on my blog. That happened with this video that I took last Saturday while Fate and I were walking in the woods.
You can see all the photos and videos on my Instagram page by clicking on the Instagram icon on the bottom of my blog. (it’s the last one next to the Pinterest icon).
It didn’t take the birds long to come to the bird feeder. The Chickadee’s were there the first day I put it out. Today there was a male cardinal, a tufted titmouse, a house sparrow, a woodpecker on the suet and more chickadee’s.
I watched a few chickadee’s fly back and forth from the lilac bush to the feeder and thought how much the quilt I was working on and the chickadees have similar colors. So I decided to call the quilt Chickadee.
Even thought I took a picture of this quilt outside, the colors still aren’t quite accurate in the photo. I used a black and white cat print for the back. I’ll tack the quilt with gray yarn tomorrow.
I said yes to making the baby quilt for Donna because I was intrigued by the colors. Blacks, grays and creams.
I had no idea, before I started working on it, that the size, 36″x48″, about half the size of one of my regular quilts, would be a challenge. It’s somewhere between a pillow and a quilt. Actually, almost the exact size of my new work table.
Usually when I make anything, I just sew until it’s done. I’m not used to working to a specific size. Is the quilt supposed to be a big quilt made little, or a little pillow made big.
Of course it’s turning out to be its own unique thing.
I started working on it yesterday, the way I do all my quilt. I found two piece of fabric that looked right next to each other and sewed them together.
The textures and shades become so important when working with a limited palette.
I searched my stash and found cream colors with grey and black patterns and black fabric with gray patterns. Some of the grays go blue or green depending on what black, gray or cream they are next to.
You can also see how the color changes in the photos, depending on the lighting. When it’s done, I’ll take a picture of it outside, the natural light is usually most true.
This is as far as I got on the quilt tonight. I still need to add about six inches on to each side, and then a black border. I hope to get the quilt top done tomorrow.
I posted photos of these two Lint Roller Postcards on my facebook page yesterday, but forgot to post them on my blog.
I took these photos outside and I think they came out even better, showing the colors and the insect. (it was already dead when I rolled it up. I didn’t even see it until I looked at the lint roller.)
I made both into postcards by glueing them to a piece of cardboard. But I don’t think they’d survive going through the mail outside an envelope.
It lifted my spirits finding the beauty these two.
The tall grasses were like turnstile after turnstile on my legs and shoulders. They bent to my body then sprang back into place as I passed though them.
This passage into the woods.
I hadn’t been here since the beginning of the summer when it becomes unpassable. The grasses too tall and thick, the ground too wet, the ticks too many.
I step thought the break in the low stone wall into the woods. I make begin a new path, just a few foot steps, around a dead tree that finally came down. The little waterfall is loud and frothy from the rain. The bench Ed Gulley made has acorn shells on it and I imagine the squirrel sitting there, eating.
I pull my fingers into my gloves warming them in a fist. Then I decide, instead of resisting the cold, instead of tightening my body, my muscles, my brain against it, I let go.
I breathe out the tension in my muscles, I stop thinking that I’m cold and start seeing what is in front of me instead. My body becomes soft, more fluid in its movement and instead of feeling like I’m walking in the woods, I become a part of the woods. I let the cold and damp seep into my skin, down to my bones, without judgement.
I am the air around me.
My body is still cold, but it doesn’t matter anymore.
Maybe this is the gift, I think. To not resist what I’m feeling. To not judge what I’m feeling. To not let my feelings keep me from seeing the reality that is right in front of me.
On the way back home, I visited the big, old shag bark hickory. I stopped and touched my tongue to a raindrop hanging off the tip of a branch. Fate ran ahead. I knew she’s be on the other side of the pasture gate when I got there. Both waiting for me, and getting as close to the sheep as she could.
Fanny and Lulu stood in the pole barn watching the sheep eat their hay. There was a layer of icy snow on the ground this morning, cold rain made the barn yard into the kind mud that pulls at my boots.
I fed the donkey’s some leftover bread from yesterday’s breakfast, but they were not leaving the barn, not even for the hay Jon put in the feeders.
I went to get the rake and shovel to muck out the barn and when I got back, the donkeys were where I left them, munching on a pile of hay. They knew as well as I did, that Jon would not make them go out in the cold rain to eat.
Jon and the donkeys have been doing this for a long time. He could never resist their soft nickering, their reluctance to get wet.
Then it was my turn.
I’ve been meaning to get seed for the bird feeder for the past two weekend. But yesterday the sun was out and last weekend it was warm enough to garden. It wasn’t until this morning, that the reality of November seeped in.
Yes, I thought, pulling my scarf tighter around my neck to keep the warm in, winter really is on its way.
I filled the bird feeders as much for myself as the birds. I wanted to do something to make me appreciate the gray skies and coming cold instead of dreading it. I thought of the good things. The birds that will soon be outside my studio window. How, this time of year, my path into the backwoods isn’t blocked by overgrown grasses and ticks. Coming in from the cold to a house warm with the heat of wood stoves.
I reminded myself to embrace the melancholy that fills the air around me this time of year. The lonely, disconnected feeling that comes with the cold and the holidays. But I believe, like my nightmares, it holds a gift. Now I just have to figure out what it is.
Nancy bought a bunch of my Potholders as Christmas gifts for her friends and family. I had the Potholder on the right for sale in my Etsy Shop and she wanted another to go with it. (she was giving each person a pair of potholders)
I knew I had some of the same fabric left, but most of it was made from scraps I had used up. So I used the pieces I had that were the same and found other fabric in similar colors to make the pair.
My art, my life. That feels right. It’s as if I left that space in my header just for those words.
I just moved the red boots down one appliqué space, and stitched the words to fill the space.
The realization that my art and life are not separate, but blend and overlap into each other, the boundaries soft and fuzzy, is one of the things that made me feel confident in my decision that my writing, videos and photos, the work I do on my blog, is something people might want to pay for.
I’ve already emailed my new header to Chris at Mannix Marketing, my blog designers, with the copy for a new page on my blog explaining how to support my blog.
Hopefully it we all go live sometime in the next couple of weeks.
At the end of my Monday Morning Video, if you listen carefully, you can hear Jon suggest we see if Bud will sit on Fanny’s back.
It seemed to me like the right time, like everyone was up for it. The donkeys were calmly hanging around us and weren’t fazed by Bud, when earlier, he approached them. (you can see that in my Monday Morning Video too)
So I picked Bud up and put him on Fanny’s back. You can see how well it went for yourself….
Jon took a picture of Bud on Fanny’s back called “The King Of Bedlam Farm“. I’m selling it in my Etsy Shop for $125 and until December 10th, the shipping on all Jon’s photos in my Etsy Shop is free. You can get to my Etsy Shop by clicking here or on my Shop Etsy Button below.